Odisha MP Chandrani Murmu accuses OTV journalists of defaming her

Bhubaneswar: Levelling serious allegations against some reporters of private regional news channel OTV, Keonjhar MP Chandrani Murmu has accused the journalists of harassing, torturing and defaming her.

The youngest parliamentarian in a statement said the reporters had circulated a morphed and obscene video with a malicious intention of defaming, harassing and torturing her.

Accusing OTV reporter Ramesh Rath as the perpetrator of the crime, Murmu said OTV MD Jagi Mangat Panda and her husband and BJP’s national Vice President Baijayant Panda are trying to save him by claiming that this is an attack on OTV and its journalists by the State Government.

“I have a question for OTV’s owners Jagi Panda and Baijayant ‘Jay’ Panda. If a daughter from your family was in my place and her morphed obscene video had been viraled, would you have saved the man like OTV reporter Ramesh Rath who had perpetuated it?,” the MP said in her statement.

“Both Jagi Panda and Jay Panda are friends with powerful people in Delhi and are using their connections to run media stories that OTV reporter Ramesh Rath being questioned by police is an attack on media and journalism,” she said.

“I demand that Jagi Panda, Jay Panda and OTV stop trying to save the perpetrators of crime like Ramesh Rath and that the national media should not fall prey to fake and false narratives being peddled by the Pandas and OTV,” she added in her statement.

Notably, reporter Ramesh Rath was yesterday picked up by Keonjhar police for questioning and later released. Sources said Rath was questioned in connection with the controversial video.

In 2019, another OTV journalist Simanchal Patra was arrested for his alleged involvement in the case. During quizzing, Patra reportedly told the police that he got the video from Rath.

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